Background and Aims Overweight has been linked to health problems and deteriorate school outcomes. Some studies show that overweight school-age children have lower scholastic achievement (SA) but the evidence is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the association between overweight and SA in elementary fifth grade school children from the Chile’s Metropolitan Region.
Methods This was an observational, cross-sectional and correlational study. Data were reported for 477 children of both sexes and from 26 schools (public, subsidized and non-subsidized). SA was measured with the Education Quality Measurement System test score (SIMCE), of national coverage. The current nutritional status was assessed through the body mass index z-score (z-BMI), controlling for dietary and physical activity behaviours, socio-economic status (SES, family and educational factors. Data were processed using descriptive statistics and multiple linear regressions from the Statistical Analysis System software (SAS).
Results Overweight children had not significantly lower SA compared with non-overweight children (P>0.05). SES (P<0.001), type of school (P<0.01), the number of repeated grades (NRG) (P<0.05) and parents’ educational level (P<0.05) were the variables that correlated with SA. SES, the NRG and mother’s educational level, were the variables with the greatest explanatory power for SA variance. The current nutritional status expressed as z-BMI did not contribute to explain SA variance.
Conclusion Current nutritional status was not associated with SA. SES, the number of repeated grades and mother’s educational level could be strong predictors of SA.
Grant FONDECYT 1100431.